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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To break (a sentence) down into its component parts of speech with an explanation of the form, function, and syntactical relationship of each part.
  • transitive v. To describe (a word) by stating its part of speech, form, and syntactical relationships in a sentence.
  • transitive v. To examine closely or subject to detailed analysis, especially by breaking up into components: "What are we missing by parsing the behavior of chimpanzees into the conventional categories recognized largely from our own behavior?” ( Stephen Jay Gould).
  • transitive v. To make sense of; comprehend: I simply couldn't parse what you just said.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To analyze or separate (input, for example) into more easily processed components.
  • intransitive v. To admit of being parsed: sentences that do not parse easily.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To resolve into its elements, as a sentence, pointing out the several parts of speech, and their relation to each other by government or agreement; to analyze and describe grammatically.
  • v. To split a file or other input into bits of data that can be easily stored or manipulated.
  • n. A successful act of parsing.
  • n. The result of such an act.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To resolve into its elements, as a sentence, pointing out the several parts of speech, and their relation to each other by government or agreement; to analyze and describe grammatically.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In grammar, to describe grammatically by telling the part of speech of, as a word, or of each word in, as a sentence, defining and describing its grammatical form, and showing its relation to the other words in the sentence; resolve, as a sentence, into its grammatical parts: as, to parse a line in Virgil.
  • An obsolete form of pierce.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. analyze syntactically by assigning a constituent structure to (a sentence)


Probably from Middle English pars, part of speech, from Latin pars (ōrātiōnis), part (of speech); see perə-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English pars, from Old French pars (plural of part), from Latin pars. (Wiktionary)


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  • The draws took the heat down to the decking and into containers called parse tubes, which housed diapson crystals.

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  • I create an instance of the lib and call parse on the RSS.


  • To start parsing, the application calls parse (), a method of Parser: parser. parse (args [0]); EXAMPLE

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  • I guess you're referring to Israel, if I "parse" your statement correctly. .but what is the argument they have lost, precisely???

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